Skip Nav

An Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry Essay

10 Facts on Poems by Emily Dickinson for a College Essay

❶She is satisfied with her isolation.

Introduction

Emily Dickinson American Literature Analysis
Navigate Guide
Client testimonials

She forces herself to question whether there is a possibility of death being a mundane nothingness. In this last moment of doubt in the appearance of the divine, the speaker in the poem find an independent and personal acceptance of a death without profundity or salvation.

The speaker of the poem Is dying, and It Is possible to Infer that her Journey toward death has been a longer one. The fly and the king become polarize images. The fly, representing the mundane, is keeping the speaker firmly on earth, preventing the epiphany that some sort of holy or religious appearance the King, for instance would bring. Other polarize images presented In this first stanza are the stillness of alarm between the heaves of storms.

The speaker was assuming the stillness around her on her death bed meant that she was waiting for some sort of major upheaval, some sort of religious moment when she would be whisked from this still quiet room into a new life. Before the appearance of the fly, it is evident that the tone of the room was of expectation.

The speaker, however In her death, Is becoming enlightened to the possibility that perhaps, this room, this stillness, is all. It is unclear whether she finds the stillness, the lack of major religious epiphany, to be problematic. The tone of the poem is factual, and calm. Using the heaves of storm, and the stillness of alarm as polarize Imagery, one might Infer that she thought that the stillness she was experiencing was the precursor to some sort of eternal stillness of air, or heaven.

The opposite of this stillness, or the heaves of storm, may then represent an eternal tumultuous existence of hell. By interposing a fly into this moment where she should be entering one of these new worlds, the speaker may be finding that she does not have to enter any new world at all. This mundane fly, buzzing, ruining what should have been her moment of rebound epiphany, means that she Is simply leaving. She can close her eyes, and it does not seem to be painful to the speaker.

She accepts this mundane idea as simply being inevitable. The speaker wills away her keepsakes. She is leaving the people in the room things. She gives them her worldly objects, ironically, the things that at this moment, have the least amount of worth to her. With he reintroduction of the fly at the end of this stanza, perhaps she is saying that she knows these objects are, like her death, mundane. They mean about as much as the presence of this fly means.

They are not memories, they are not divine, they are not her, they are Just objects, but they are all the speaker has to give to the world upon her exit. The speaker is disappointed here, that she can not give the mourners into he room more. She alone knows that this will not happen.

As she sits listening to the fly buzz around her she is realizing that this end is all she will receive. The fly is flying around without confidence or assurance. The fly has taken away the speakers confidence as well. Now, without her religious, significant, grand exit from this world she cannot predict what happens next.

Here, it is possible to assume the Dickinson was subscribing, at least n part, to the ideas of transcendentalism. She is rejecting the concrete Christian view of a God and a heaven. She explored a variety of subjects: Drawing heavily from biblical sources and influenced by such poets as George Herbert, Shakespeare, and John Keats, Dickinson developed a highly personal system of symbol and allusion, assigning complex meanings to colors, places, times, and seasons.

She experimented with compression, enjambment, and unusual rhyme schemes, and also employed an idiosyncratic use of capitalization and punctuation, thereby creating a poetic style that further distinguished her verse from contemporary American poetry. Initial criticism of Dickinson's work, following the publication of Poems of Emily Dickinson , was largely unfavorable, yet her work received widespread popular acclaim.

Willis Buckingham has noted that readers in the s often praised Dickinson's "inspired" thoughts and emotions rather than her poetic technique. Modern critics, though, have come to appreciate Dickinson's accomplishments in language and poetic structure.

Margaret Dickie has challenged critics who have attempted to provide a narrative analysis of Dickinson's work by studying her poetry as a whole. Dickie maintains that the poems were written as lyrics, and should be examined as such. Karen Oakes has explored Dickinson's use of metonymy to establish an intimate, feminine discourse with her readers. Other critics, such as Judy Jo Small and Timothy Morris, have analyzed Dickinson's rhyme structure, Small noting the acoustical effects of this structure, and Morris observing how Dickinson's patterns of rhyme and enjambment developed over time.

Many critics have also explored the various themes of Dickinson's poetry against the backdrop of events in her personal life.

Among these are Jane Donahue Eberwein, who has studied the poems concerning love and its redemption, and Nadean Bishop, who has focused on Dickinson's spirituality, specifically the poems that seem to indicate the poet's rejection of religious dogma in favor of a private version of God and heaven. Paula Hendrickson, who has examined Dickinson's poems that focus on the precise moment of death, notes that these poems are typically treated as a subcategory of the death poem genre and are rarely treated individually.

Power is another of Dickinson's themes that has received a great deal of critical attention. McClure Smith has examined how Dickinson uses the trope of seduction to explore her relationship to patriarchal power. Feminist critics have also found the issue of power of great significance in Dickinson's work. Cheryl Walker maintains that while many feminist critics try to assert that Dickinson's life was "a model of successful feminist manipulation of circumstances," in fact, the poet was attracted to masculine forms of power.

Paula Bennett, on the other hand, has contended that Dickinson's relationships with women were more significant than her struggles with men, male power, or male tradition. Bennett argues that Dickinson's relationship with women provided her with the comfort and safety necessary for the poet to explore her own sexuality.

This contention, Bennett states, is supported by a reading of Dickinson's poems that recognizes their homoeroticism and use of clitoral imagery. The enigmatic details surrounding Dickinson's life continue to fascinate readers and critics alike. Yet it is the technical originality of her poetry, the variety of themes she addressed, and the range and depth of intellectual and emotional experience she explored that have established Dickinson's esteemed reputation as an American poet.

A Poet Restored," in Emily Dickinson: Sewell, Prentice Hall, , pp. Johnson's edition of Dickinson's verse, as well as the characteristics and major themes of her poetry. We would have to go a good way back into the present century to find the peak of that furious energy which produced our biggest and most whirling flood of verse in this country. So it is not too foolhardy to make a Sewell , Prentice Hall, , pp. An earnest letter is or should be a life-warrant or death-warrant, for what is each instant but a gun, harmless because "unloaded," but that touched "goes off?

The Habit of Renunciation," in Dickinson: Strategies of Limitation , University of Massachusetts Press, , pp. Dickinson posed these questions in an letter to Judge Otis Phillips Lord at an early stage in her autumnal romance with the widowed Salem jurist, her father's friend and ally in Emily Dickinson shared with other Romantic poets, American and European, the intuition that the age of reason had run its course and had failed to bring the hoped-for illumination and order.

In the new century, as the focus turned toward the self, the Many books and essays on Emily Dickinson's poetry have appeared in the last five years, and each approaches the question of spirituality divergently depending on the author's dominant focus.

Barbara Mossberg deals with Dickinson as dutiful and rebellious daughter; Influences on the Poet's Language," in Emily Dickinson: Miller contends that perhaps the greatest influence on Dickinson was the Bible, which served as a model for Dickinson's use of several techniques, including compression, parataxis, and disjunction ].

Books are the best things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? I had better never see a book than Dickie stresses that such an analysis reveals a sense of self that is "particular, discontinuous, limited, private, hidden," and that this conclusion challenges those reached by feminist and psychoanalytic narrative character analyses.

Cady and Louis J. Budd, Duke University Press, Vol. Morris maintains that by measuring the rhyme and enjambment patterns of Dickinson's poetry, one can see that the "formal contours of her verse" evolved throughout her writing career. It has become a given of Dickinson criticism that the poet's style never changed. A recent study begins:


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Free emily dickinson papers, essays, and research papers.

Privacy FAQs

Emily Dickinson and Her Poetry Emily Dickinson is one of the great visionary poets of nineteenth century America. In her lifetime, she composed more poems than .

About Our Ads

Essay on Analysis of Emily Dickinson's The Bustle in a House Words | 3 Pages. Analysis of Emily Dickinson's The Bustle in a House The Bustle in a House is a poem by Emily Dickinson about the painful loss one feels after the death of a loved one. Dickinson was quite familiar with the kind of . Lunacy of Light: Emily Dickinson and the Experience of Metaphor. Ad Feminam: Women and Literature, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, , p. Provides a .

Cookie Info

Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Emily Dickinson's poems. PhDessay is an educational resource where over 40, free essays are collected. Scholars can use them for free to gain inspiration and new creative ideas for their writing assignments. Read more.